Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fight the Stigma, Talk to Your Kids

I have focused my efforts in battling the monster by educating its victims before the monster can attack.

It would be easy for me to shrug my shoulders and count my blessings that our son is clear and sober then go on with my life; addiction as a faint image in my rear view mirror. I guess that's not how I roll.

In the last couple weeks I have had some speaking engagements at high schools and a correctional facility. Actually, it's pretty simple, I stand in front of a group and spill my guts. Afterwards, there are some questions or comments and then I go back to a life or normalcy. Hoping I make an impression but never really knowing.

I received messages from teachers where I spoke.

Hi Ron,  Want to let you know I visited with my students this week about your presentation with them, and also your talk at the JOCO Detention Residential Center.  The kids think you are amazing to be able to tell your story.  Some comments were, "I was crying,"  "I was crying inside because my mom always tells me she see me as a 5 year-old playing with my dolls," "He is amazing because he didn't sugar coat it,"  "He told the truth,"  "It's scary to think it can happen to anyone,"  "He definitely needs to keep talking with students,"  "He made a difference with me,"  Next time we meet I will ask them if they talked with their parents or mentioned your talk with anyone else.

Hey coach. *******  here. I just want to take a little of my time to genuinely thank you. I really truly appreciate you bringing in someone to talk about drug addiction. I will be 6 month clean christmas, and i think its a really important, passionate topic. I really liked what you said, and when you told the class how " its a choice to START drugs, but once you're into your ""addiction"", it is no longer a choice. In Narcotics anonymous we have a very well know saying that goes a little something like this "one is too many, and a thousand is never enough".  I completely believe that is true. Im rambling at this point, but i really appreciate you being a teacher, and being passionate about your job. I want to leak my life story summed up a little bit. age 12, i had my first joint. I didn't like it, and was peer pressured to do it, so i didn't do it again for two weeks. My older brother, 18 at the time, found out, and pulled out some pot and i smoked once again. Summer of 2012 was when i sparked my obsession with drugs. I smoked marijuana recreationally until 2013, and i started to use it for major depression, and anxiety. i like to think marijuana is a gateway drug. It was for me anyway. By 2013, i had started smoking on a daily basis, and drinking occasionally. By early 2014, i figured out what opiates were, and i thought i had loved them. "loved" them to the point where i would take them just to get through the day. The small drugs had now turned into alcohol, and opiates by this point, and things went downhill from there. The opiates i had been using had a non existent effect on be, and i discovered air duster. And this is where things changed. I had started huffing, and by this time it was october 2015. I was carried on with my addiction and drug curiosity,and ended up going overboard. I was in the shower on november 2rd 2014, and i will NEVER forget this day. O was huffing in the shower and heard banging and whatnot outside the door, and found out my brother and dad were fighting physically. I had jumped out of the shower naked, and onto my dads back, grabbed a WHOLE script of Xanax, got dressed, and left. I had taken the WHOLE bottle that night, and woke up two days later. I had overdosed. bad. AND blacked out. I went to the hospital that night, and ended up in the hospital for 14 days until i went to rehab in late november. I had went to rehab and got out thinking i was "Cured" Well little did i know there is NO cure for addiction. I had ended up moving in with my mom and started smoking pot again. I had enough and moved to my dads. I am now attending NA regularly (every night for 4 months and a few days"). I don't really know why i shared this all, but i was just really thankful that were informing this generation on drug use and the LONG
LASTING effects of it. Sorry if i wasted your time!
Thanks *******.

It's up to us. We are the ones that have battled the monster on its terms. No matter if we faced the monster attacking us directly or we joined the fight as a loved one battled. It remains our battle.

Join in removing the stigma of addiction. Stand up to the monster and stand tall among others. Tell your story. Talk to your kids and tell them the dangers and ways of the monster. 



Christine Campbell said...

WOW-thank you for what you rare doing. Im on board with ridding the stigma-speaking up-being a part of the solution!! We cannot stay silent and ignore this horrific epidemic.I took a real risk and self pub'd my story of recovery-a long and hard battle for years. I have 23 years clean and sober today!!! Please have a look- With Viglilance' a woman in long term recovery..its on smashwords,com...its not easy -but so worth it!! Christine Campbell

Shelley B said...

Thanks so much for this! I've often felt led to speak publicly about our families struggle with addition. How did you get started, do you have a prepared speech, or just general talking points. And how did you convince the local schools that you're story was legit? Just wondering how to get the ball rolling. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for continuing to fight the battle with us

Clayton said...

WOW! pretty intense. As an addict myself I can only imagine the pain I caused my family. Having been sober for two years I can finally say that I treat my parents the way they deserve. With respect and love. I work at a treatment center now and started a blog on my companies website I would love for you to check it out and give advice possibly??? I have only had it for a few weeks.
Please email me any advice or tips at

Rose Maria said...
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Emy Watson said...
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Johnnie Smith said...

Your story is very compelling and real. Thank you for the courage you show and call on others to show. I have a daughter to whom I knew I needed to talk with more openly and honestly. We got there, and it became clear that she needed help. I am so thankful that it was available!

Johnnie Smith @ Ranch Creek Recovery